Category Archive: News

A Beer With Cathy & Gordon

Cathy and bike stencilYou, your friends, and your family are invited!

Here is a chance to support SNG, welcome new staff, and bid a fond adieu to founding executive director Cathy Tuttle.

Our city owes a debt of gratitude to Cathy for her visionary and effective work. Among innumerable other accomplishments, her leadership inspired and supported the formation of 20-some Greenways groups.  From Georgetown/Duwamish to West Seattle to Licton Springs, citizens who care about safe streets are making a difference in their communities.

What: Have a great beer and support a great organization!
Why: For each pint purchased, $1 will be donated to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to benefit safe streets advocacy in Seattle. Hang out with like-minded people who care about safe streets. Say hello to the new Executive Director Gordon Padelford and newly hired Communications & Development Director Susan Gleason and good-bye to outgoing ED Cathy Tuttle.

When: Sunday, August 13th, 4-8 PM

Where: Peddler Brewing 1514 NW Leary in Ballard. family-friendly (map)

RSVP (not required)https://www.facebook.com/events/333411683766856/

​Hope to see you there!

Ready for Safe Routes to Sound Transit?

August 4, 2017
by Cathy Tuttle

What do the new Sound Transit Link light rail stations opening in 2021 in Northgate, Roosevelt, and Brooklyn have in common?

All three have active coalitions of local groups dedicated to getting safe routes for people who want to walk or bike to transit.

#Fix65th Coalition Calls for Roosevelt Station Access

#Fix65th Coalition Calls for Roosevelt Station Access Safety

All of these community coalitions are meeting with SDOT, Metro, Sound Transit and other agencies to make sure access for people who walk and bike is front and center at the new Sound Transit stations. Seattle Council Member Rob Johnson has been a strong ally for all of these coalitions.

UGreenways Hosted Meetings for Walk/Bike Brooklyn Link

UGreenways Hosts Early Meetings for Brooklyn Link Access

As their August 9 public meeting, Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board will tour the three new Link stations. A separate community tour of the University/Brooklyn Station is planned soon. Stay tuned and get involved!

Want to support work like this? Volunteer and donate:

  Join Us Donate

Northgate Station Proposed Walk/Bike Access Routes

The Business of Safe Streets on Pike/Pine

Would you encourage your loved one to ride their bicycle here?

aweful pine bike lane image by david seater

This is currently the condition on Pine St, an important walk/bike transportation corridor. It’s unpleasant for people walking and downright dangerous for people biking. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Central Seattle Greenways has set out to make some changes.

They teamed up with Capitol Hill Housing’s Renter’s Initiative, the Capitol Hill Community Council, and Cascade Bicycle Club and over three days in Spring 2017, approximately 20 volunteers and staff conducted door-to-door business engagement along the Pike/Pine corridor.

Team members spoke with people in 59 (!) businesses about how people get to their establishment, what traffic safety issues they see on the streets, and what kind of street improvements they would be interested in seeing.

The good news is that business people really do care about safe streets. The conversations went well and the volunteer teams collected valuable information, made new contacts, and helped start a conversation about how to improve the safety of Pike/Pine for people walking and biking to local businesses.

This fall the team is planning to continue advocating for safer crosswalks bike lanes on the Pike/Pine corridor.

Would you like to get involved? Stay tuned!

Want to support more work like this? Volunteer and donate:

  Join Us Donate
Part of the business outreach team

Part of the business outreach team

Cathy Supports Streets for People

Merlin and Cathy

Merlin Rainwater & Cathy Tuttle at a rally for Vision Zero 20 MPH streets

August 1, 2017

Come join me for a farewell beer — and welcome new staff at a party at Peddler Brewing in Ballard on Sunday August 13 from 4 to 8 PM.

It has been my great pleasure getting to know you.

You are people all over Seattle doing your part to reclaim streets as public space.

You are the parents walking to school with your children in Lake City along streets with no sidewalks. You are the tech workers who suffer daily terrifying near misses on your bike to work. You are the families celebrating Play Streets in Queen Anne. You are Rainier Valley family bikers negotiating a car-free life. You are neighbors who are trying to figure out how to travel safely on foot and by bike between South Park and Georgetown. You are families mourning the death of a loved one from traffic violence. You are the teams painting streets in Ballard on PARKing Day. You are older adults who long for a nice place to sit outside on slower, safer streets where people driving stop as you cross the street.

You are part of a citywide movement — and Seattle in turn is part of a global movement — of people who share a vision of streets as essential public places for people.

As the founding Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG), I’ve worked full time and tirelessly for the past six years, listening to your stories, uniting our coalitions, and amplifying our voices.

In the past six years as ED, my work has been to direct the conversation, and I’ve seen our streets transformed. More people are walking and biking along protected bike lanes and greenways, parklets and play streets are opening, safe routes for children to our lowest income schools are prioritized. We’re in a good place. And we have far to go.

I’ve worked side by side for the past four years with SNG Policy Director Gordon Padelford, a master coalition builder. I’m delighted he is taking over as ED of SNG. His focused advocacy has helped to put Seattle on the map as a 20 MPH Vision Zero city, and his work has directed millions of dollars into Safe Routes to School, true multi-modal corridors, road rechannelizations, sidewalks, protected bike lanes, better traffic signals, safer routes to transit, Play Streets, tactical urbanism, and much more.

As we continue on our journey dedicated to reclaiming contested public space for people, I am asking you to keep caring and to keep showing up.

Please support the work of Gordon and his team of professional advocates (welcome to the SNG team Susan Gleason!). Support your neighborhood’s on-the-ground greenway group. Keep demanding safe, healthy streets for people of all ages, all abilities, and all incomes.

Thirty percent or more of land in most every city is primarily dedicated to moving and storing cars. I am leaving on a series of extended stays in cities around the world that are working out the details of how to transform their streets into public spaces for people. First stop, Berlin.

We are at a tipping point in the transformation of Seattle into a walkable city. We are witnesses of and advocates for the movement towards a bike-friendly city. We are transforming our streets into public places where people can sit, meet, talk, and play.

With your help, Seattle can become a growing city where streets support people’s lives as they move around, meet new people, raise a family, and grow old. A city I look forward to visiting. Keep going strong my friends.

With love,

Cathy Tuttle, PhD, Board member
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
@CathyTuttle

Thank you Seattle

Want to support our work? Volunteer and donate:

  Join Us Donate

Connections on Columbian Way

Would you like to be able to safely bike from Beacon Hill to Columbia City and vice versa?  The pieces are finally coming together to make that happen, but first we need you need to speak up! 

Fill out the City’s two-question survey and ask for *Option A* on both questions. 

This exciting protected bike lane would span from MLK to 15th Ave S and connect people to Mercer Middle School, Jefferson Park, the VA, two small Beacon Hill business districts, Rainier Vista, and be within a few blocks of the heart of Columbia City.

Columbian Way PBL extension

How did we get here? 

Back in 2011, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ local group Beacon Hill Safe Streets (formerly Beacon B.I.K.E.S.) got a grant, hired Alta Planning, and engaged in a community process to come up with the Beacon Hill Family Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation Plan.
Beacon Hill Family Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation Plan 2011

“Neighbors and advocates describe the process of creating the circulation plan as “local destination-based planning”. The community values continuous routes without gaps, so that children and adults can more safely travel the entire route to their destination. The goal is to enable families and children to travel to local destinations on continuous signed routes. Advocates believe that if a system is sufficiently safe for children to get to school, all Beacon Hill neighbors will be able to comfortably and more safely ride bikes on local trips to the store, to parks, and to visit neighbors.”

Part of this plan was a bike lane on Columbian Way:

Click to Zoom

Click to Zoom

Beacon Hill Safe Streets then advocated successfully to get this route, and many others included in the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan update of 2014. Beacon hill greenway and trail Bike Blog

The Columbian Way protected bike lane would connect to other improvements Beacon Hill Safe Streets advocated for including the 15th & Columbian safe routes to school intersection redesign, the North-South Beacon Hill neighborhood greenway, and the Jefferson Park trail (see graphic at right).

It takes time to build a network of safe streets, but we’re well on our way thanks to continued energy from volunteers and donors who make this grassroots movement work. With your support we can realize the original Beacon Hill Safe Streets vision of safe streets “for children to get to school, all Beacon Hill neighbors will be able to comfortably and more safely ride bikes on local trips to the store, to parks, and to visit neighbors””

Want to support work like this? Volunteer and donate:

  Join Us Donate

 

Bike Share Embraced In Fremont

August 2, 2017
by Cathy TuttleFernando and Leila

I caught up with Leila and Fernando just as they were unlocking two LimeBikes.

They’d walked to Fremont from the condo they were renting in Belltown and were excited to give bike share a try for the first time, going back via the Westlake Trail.

Since there are no easy directions from Fremont to the trail — or signs to follow leading to the new trail — I guided them to the trail entrance and learned a little more about this couple.

They had moved from Hawaii in June for jobs in South Lake Union.

Leila was a bit worried about riding a bike in traffic, even in the wide bike lanes along North 34th Street. She thought the green bike box to turn onto the Fremont Bridge felt a bit risky as well. Fernando biked slowly behind Leila and was grateful for being guided to the Westlake Trail.

Fremont is filled with new Spin and LimeBikes. In fact, I saw a two people riding together, one on Lime and one on Spin, on my way back home. Both bike shares rent for $1 for 30 minutes. They feel similar in comfort and user interface, though Lime has eight gears (for climbing hills), while Spin has just three.

People in Seattle are eagerly embracing station-free bike share and the new bike share systems are being used in record numbers. Operated by smart phones, the Lime and Spin systems are proving they can be an important part of our public transit network.

Because the bikes can be ridden almost anywhere in Seattle. where they end up paints an intriguing portrait of the places tech-savvy folks want to go by bike, and where we need safe, accessible, connected bike routes.

First week map of Spin bike destinations http://bit.ly/2wqy5hp

First week map of Spin bike destinations http://bit.ly/2wqy5hp

 

Want to support more advocacy work like this? Volunteer and donate:

  Join Us Donate

Creating Walkways in Georgetown

August 5, 2017
by Carol Ohlfs and Jesse Moore, Co-leaders
Duwamish Valley Safe Streets

Duwamish Valley Safe Streets leads tour to homeless camps for agency & City officials

Duwamish Valley Safe Streets leads tour to homeless camps for agency & City officials

Duwamish Valley Safe Streets (DVSS) members believe all people in Seattle deserve a safe way to reach their closest Library, Public Medical Clinic, and Community Center.

Georgetown’s new Seattle sanctioned homeless encampment hosted 50+ residents at 1001 S Myrtle Street who live closer to the South Park bridge than almost any other neighbors in Georgetown.

Before after sidewalk Georgetown 2. 2017For many of Georgetown’s residents and workers, getting to South Park means about a 30 minute walk, or a 10 minute bicycle ride along East Marginal Way and over the South Park Bridge. East Marginal Way is a major corridor used by cars, freight, and bus, having 4-5 vehicular travel lanes lanes. There are no crosswalks at large intersection, no safe crossing on 16th Ave, and no sidewalks connecting Marginal to the bridge.

The design of this important route, connecting the flatlands in the south of the city across the Duwamish River, currently fails to consider the safety and equity of all users.

On February 25th 2017, co-leaders of DVSS, Jesse Moore and Carol Ohlfs, led a walk of this unsafe route to bring eyes and minds together around improving safety and connectivity between Georgetown and South Park.

In attendance were Kathy Nyland Director of Neighborhoods, George Scarola Director of Homelesness, Council Member Lisa Herbold, city employees from Department of Transportation, Office of Policy and Innovation, and Office of Sustainability and Environment, Georgetown and South Park residents and business owners, as well as Robert Getch form Beacon Hill Safe Streets.

While there is still a long way to go to make this mile feel safe for people of all ages, abilities and walks of life, as a result of our walk the city implemented some basic improvements that are worth celebrating!

Below are before and after photos illustrating how road paint, vegetation maintenance and wheels stops begin to make some room for people walking between Georgetown and South Park.

Want to support work like this? Volunteer and donate:

  Join Us Donate
Before after sidewalk Georgetown 1. 2017

Before after sidewalk Georgetown 3. 2017

92nd: One Street To Unite Us All

August 1, 2017

Dedicated leaders in Licton Haller Greenways, Greenwood Phinney Greenways, Ballard Greenways, NW Greenways, Maple Leaf Greenways, and the Aurora Licton Urban Village (ALUV) all had a hand in promoting critical pieces of connected street for people.

Thanks to connected, dedicated, long-term community work, 92nd is a protected, safe street that goes from Holman Road, across Aurora Avenue North, and across I-5,

Lee Bruch and GPGW

Celebrate with a ribbon cutting and kids bike parade!  Facebook Event Page

Join community, friends, and families opening a new walk bike pathway to school
N 92nd and Ashworth Ave N
Sunday, August 27 from 2 to 3:30 PM

bike ribbon cutting

People who’ve lived in Seattle for a while know how difficult it is to travel east to west. Maybe it is because of the steep hills that define our neighborhoods.

Because of the work of multiple local groups, there is a new way for people who walk and bike to go from east to west on NW/N/NE 92nd (the street changes its prefix as it travels). Here are some of the many groups and people who contributed to this safe street corridor.

  • Ballard Greenways champion Selena Cariostis proposed a signalized crossing of Holman Road NW at 92nd NW to get to Whitman Middle School. Her project was awarded more than $1 million in Move Seattle Levy funds and a signalized crossing will be built in 2018.
  • Greenwood Phinney Greenways (GPGW) leader Justin Martin and Forrest Baum from NW Greenways set up scouting rides with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to find optimal east-west streets for people who walk and bike through the north Greenwood area to Greenwood Ave N. Their greenway recommendations will be part of the north end safe routes connections.
  • Robin Randels, Teresa  Damaske from GPGW joined up with Lee Bruch and Suzi Zook of Licton Haller Greenways to scout the best place to way to cross Aurora Ave N.
  • Led by Lee Bruch, these groups all teamed up with Jan Brucker at Aurora Licton Urban Village to get a traffic signal  funded at 92nd and Aurora. Because Aurora is a state highway, these groups also sat down at multiple meetings with the Washington Department of Transportation.
  • Getting Seattle Public Schools to support a walk-bike trail to Cascade and Eagle Staff Schools on 92nd was a multi-year effort of Cathy Tuttle from SNGreenways.
  • Brock Howell and Ian Strader from Maple Leaf Greenways and Janine Blaeloch, Monica Sweet, and Dai Toyama from Lake City Greenways helped to convince SDOT to join up the I-5 crossing to the new protected bike lanes stretching along N/NE 92nd.
  • SDOT staff managed projects all along this corridor including Dongho Chang, Darby Watson, Mark Bandy, Brian Dougherty, Ashley Rhead, Serena Lehman, Dawn Schellenberg, and Dan Anderson.
  • Eagle Staff and Cascade PTSA leader James Dailey is motivating the school community to walk & bike to school.
  • Seattle City Councilmembers Debra Juarez and Mike O’Brien attended several community policy walks.

It really takes a village — or in this case multiple villages — to build safe, connected streets.

Join us in celebration August 27!

92nd map

Want to support work like this? Volunteer and donate:

  Join Us Donate

Bike Share Changes Seattle Safety Equation

by Cathy Tuttle
July 17, 2017

Bike share will test safe Seattle streets

Bike share will test safety of Seattle streets

I’m so excited!

This week, 1000 new orange and green bikes will be magically scattered like confetti throughout Seattle.

@LimeBike has a track record of launching dock-less bike share systems. @SpinCities says it raised $8 million for bike share and eventually wants a fleet of 10,000 bikes in Seattle.

Seattle is the largest market to date for both companies, and Spin and LimeBike will be competing head to head. Each company is allowed to launch a fleet of 500 of their distinctive bright green and orange upright bikes today, another 1,000 next month, and 2,000 the following month.

The beauty of dock-less bike share is the fact you can find a bike anywhere in the service area with an app, unlock a bike with your phone, and ride anywhere for 30 minutes for $1. No search for parking, just find a bike and ride.

Bike Share and Vision Zero

My biggest worry is safety. Not safety of the bikes, that feel solid and reliable, but street safety. The new bike share service areas in Downtown, Central Seattle, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, South Lake Union, Eastlake, Fremont, Ballard, the U-District are filled with high crash corridors and intersections with few miles of protected bike lanes, trails, or greenways.

  • My hope is the thousands of new Spin and LimeBike riders will encourage people driving to become more aware and respectful of people on bikes.
  • I also hope SDOT will quickly build out a fully protected #BasicBikeNetwork downtown and a linked safe network throughout Seattle.
  • Most of all, I hope thousands of people will discover the joy of riding a bike for everyday transportation.

Welcome SpinCities and LimeBike!

Ready for a downtown #BasicBikeNetwork?

Ready for a downtown #BasicBikeNetwork?

 

Urban Village Bike Map connect the dotted lines!

Urban Village Bike Map connect the dotted lines!

 

Want to support more advocacy work like this? Volunteer and donate:

  Join Us Donate

 

The Cost of Vision Zero

Ronacin Tjhung was struck & killed at MLK & South Graham January 2017

Ronacin Tjhung, father of 4 young children, was struck & killed in January 2017 at MLK & South Graham on his way to work

January 2017

May 25, 2017
Cathy Tuttle, @SNGreenways Executive Director

Every life is precious, and over the course of a year, thousands of lives in Seattle are impacted by traffic violence.

In just the past few months in Seattle, two young parents were hit and killed by people driving, people young and old were maimed for life crossing the street, and people commuting to work who’d love to get healthy exercise by walking or biking to their jobs were intimidated by speeding and distracted drivers and so refused to continue commuting by active transportation.

As a society, we’ve chosen to accept this loss of life and freedom as our collective cost of driving.

Serious road injuries and fatalities also have a real economic cost. A shockingly high cost it turns out.

The High Cost of Traffic Violence

The high cost of traffic violence is what we asked Tim Ganter to capture in his extraordinary data visualizations.

Let’s look at one example, the intersection of Rainier Ave S with MLK Ave S, better known as the Accessible Mt. Baker project. In 2016, our advocacy group successfully lobbied for more funding to go to this intersection. 

Tim’s new map tells the story of what our local advocates had verified on the ground.

Click on image for Data viz map

 

  • In the past decade there have been two fatalities and scores of injuries in and around MLK and Rainier Ave S.
  • In the past decade, the cost of traffic violence around MLK and Rainier Ave S added up to an astonishing $17,206,400 according to actuarial tables developed by the National Safety Council.

So which fact is more shocking? The money or the violence?
Which fact is most likely to influence public opinion and get leaders to invest and take action?

 

Stories of individual lives lost and shattered because of traffic violence are compelling. But so too are the dollar costs to our society for choosing to invest in streets that favor safety over speeding.

I encourage you to explore Tim’s work, based on Seattle’s open-sourced traffic incident reports, combined with fully vetted National Safety Council cost estimates for fatalities and injuries.

Please let Tim and @SNGreenways know how you use this work in your own neighborhoods. And let Tim know if you want his expertise in developing traffic data visualizations for your own community.

Older posts «